Jadhav Case (India v Pakistan) Provisional Measures

India has been trying to extradite Pakistani nationals languishing in prisons worldwide on the basis of DNA evidence so that these persons can be used as pawns in prisoner swaps probably in exchange for persons such as Mr Jadhav whose execution was stayed by the ICJ today. The full press release is available below. Notably, Pakistan and India are Contracting Parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 and whilst Article 6 does not prohibit the death penalty, it restricts its application to the most serious crimes. This case  turns on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963.

The Court indicates to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that it must take “all measures at its disposal” to prevent the execution of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, pending final judgment of the Court

THE HAGUE, 18 May 2017. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, today indicated to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that it must “take all measures at its disposal” to ensure that Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, of Indian nationality, is not executed pending a final judgment of the Court in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan).

In its Order indicating provisional measures, which was adopted unanimously, the Court also stated that the Government of Pakistan shall inform it of all measures taken in implementation of that Order. It further decided to remain seised of the matters which form the subject of the Order until it has rendered its final judgment.

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ICJ: The Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav Case

See the press releases of the ICJ in this case: The Republic of India institutes proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and requests the Court to indicate provisional measures and Urgent Communication to Pakistan from the President under Article 74, paragraph 4, of the Rules of Court and The Court to hold public hearings on Monday 15 May 2017.

THE HAGUE, 9 May 2017. On 8 May 2017, the Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, accusing the latter of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations” (hereinafter the “Vienna Convention”) in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.

The Applicant contends that it was not informed of Mr. Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights. It further alleges that, in violation of the Vienna Convention, the authorities of Pakistan are denying India its right of consular access to Mr. Jadhav, despite its repeated requests. The Applicant also points out that it learned about the death sentence against Mr. Jadhav from a press release.

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Rereading Primo Levi

Primo Levi’s If This is a Man at 70 was published in the Guardian. Philippe Sands explores the lessons of Levi’s humanity-filled holocaust memoir: was 19 when I first read If This Is a Man, and the book filled a gap created by the shadows cast across an otherwise happy childhood home by Auschwitz and Treblinka: my maternal grandparents, rare survivors of the horrors, never talked about their experiences or those who were disappeared, and in this way Levi’s account spoke directly, and personally, offering a fuller sense of matters for which words were not permitted.

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His has not been the only such book – there are others, including more recent works such as Thomas Buergenthal’s A Lucky Child, Göran Rosenberg’s A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz, and Marceline Loridan-Ivans’s But You Did Not Come Back – but it was the first. He was a messenger of detail, allowing me to see and feel matters of dread and horror: waiting for a deportation order; travelling in a cattle cart by train; descending a ramp for selection; imagining what it must be like to know you are about to be gassed and cremated; struggling for survival surrounded by people you love and hate.

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Panama Papers Judgment

Constitution Petition No. 29 of 2016 or the Panama Papers Scandal judgment was handed down today by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Panama Papers are a giant leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records exposing a system that enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies.

The Supreme Court ruled there is insufficient evidence of corruption to remove Nawaz Sharif from the role of prime minister. But it ordered a further investigation into money transfers. Questions arose over the business dealings of Mr Sharif’s family when three of his children were linked to offshore accounts in the Panama Papers leaks in 2015. News reports are available on the ruling below:

British Deputy High Commissioner Karachi Belinda Lewis Visits PIIA Library

Belinda Lewis is the British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi. Like PIIA chairman Dr Masuma Hasan, she is a Girtonian. She visited our library on 6 April 2017. A former banker, she has also worked in cross-border law enforcement cooperation for the Department for Constitutional Affairs and has also advised the US Department of Homeland Security on bilateral and other data sharing arrangements. She has also worked for the UK Home Office. She has worked for the Ministry of Justice and also in Afghanistan. She was the former UK Deputy Ambassador to Iraq and in June 2016 she became DHC Karachi and UKTI Director for Pakistan.

Noting that annual bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is $1.5bn, in her article entitled The future of UK-Pakistan trade (9 April 2017) Belinda argues that:

With Pakistan, we have a shared history, a common language, similar consumer tastes and the same eye for quality: it’s no coincidence I chose to have my wedding dress made here in Pakistan. Our shared history paves the way for a stronger, closer future trading relationship to the mutual benefit of both of our countries.

Some pictures of her visit to the PIIA can be found below

Israeli Settlements Have “No Legal Validity”

On 23 December 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of a Security Council of Resolution 2334 (2016) which states that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, have “no legal validity,” constitute a “flagrant violation” under international law and are a “major obstacle” to a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. “The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable,” the UN chief’s spokesperson Continue reading

Dr Masuma Hasan’s Speech on Event in Memory of the Legendary Fatehyab Ali Khan

The legendary Pakistani politician Fatehyab Ali Khan (1936-2010) was for many years the Chairman of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. Speaking to the members of PIIA in a session chaired by Dr Masuma Hasan on 1 October 2016, Senate chairman Raza Rabbani said: “Today we find that we are where Fatehyab left us and have not progressed after that. Article 6 of the Constitution failed to bring a culprit, a former head of state, to book, and allowed him to leave the country.” Dr Masuma’s speech is available below.